Will Robot Dogs Replace Man’s Best Friend?
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It seems that the idea of robot dogs is not as far-fetched as some might think. As a matter of fact, scientists say robot or virtual pets will replace our furry friends in the near future.
University of Melbourne animal welfare researcher Dr Jean-Loup Rault claims that overpopulation will eventually lead to real pets becoming a luxury of the super-rich, meaning that the majority of people will have to turn to robot dogs.
His study, published in the Frontiers in Veterinary Science magazine, explains that robot dogs are already popular in Japan and that we have to get used to the idea of having ‘robopets’.
Here’s what he said:
“[Robotic or virtual pets] could be totally normal for the next generation. It’s not a question of centuries from now. If 10 billion human beings live on the planet in 2050 as predicted, it’s likely to occur sooner than we think. If you’d described Facebook to someone 20 years ago, they’d think you were crazy. But we are already seeing people form strong emotional bonds with robot dogs in Japan. Pet robotics has come a long way from the Tamagotchi craze of the mid-90s. In Japan, people are becoming so attached to their robot dogs that they hold funerals for them when their circuits die.”
And he also believes that these future animals could convincingly replicate animal behavior. Basically, they will feature fully developed Artificial Intelligence and Dr Rault believes we will love artificial pets the same as we do real ones.
What do you think? Can robot pets ever really replace live animals?